Finishing a marathon in Malaysia is such a big achievement, but it can also be really taxing on your body. On average, the finishing time for runners of a 10km run is just short of 2 hours. This bucket list experience comes at a cost of extreme exertion that requires a committed healing process so you won’t lose track of your training progress.
Right after the race
The first vital step immediately after crossing the finish line is that you continue walking for at least 15 minutes. Not only will this prevent fainting due to a sudden drop in low blood pressure, but this will help your body recover gradually.
When you’re running a marathon in Malaysia, most organisers will set up a station of refreshments after the race consisting of snacks and drinks. Take it! Use the opportunity to replenish your electrolytes via sports drinks and consume easily digestible carbohydrates of energy bars or fruits.
Days after the race
Eat and Mend
You just finished a marathon! Treat yourself! Go have a celebratory meal with your family and friends. Enjoy protein centric high carb meals as fuel for your body to recover itself. You can drink alcoholic beverages but recommended in smaller doses because alcohol causes dehydration.
Treat your wounds that you have gotten from the race such as blisters or scrapes. Look for antibiotic wound healing ointments to put on your wound and cover with a size-suitable plaster. Change the band aids every day and remember to allow your wounds to breathe as well for scab formation.
Heal At Home
When you’re at home, avoid being in one position for too long. Try not to lie down for too long as it will cause your muscles to freeze up. Keep yourself moving, even if it is just a walk to the kitchen to get some water. Also, most importantly, stay hydrated!
Find time to soak in an ice bath for at least 10 minutes to help with inflammation. Combine this with compression tights after to heal better. Warm salt baths, emulating natural spring waters, are also recommended to help with muscle soreness. Pair it with some music and facial masks so you can have a relaxing “spa day” at home.
Weeks after the race
It’s Okay To Change Things Up
If you’re itching to get back on exercise mode, you can! But keep it light. Test the waters and tread lightly with a less intense workout routine. Listen to your body and stop when you need to. It is best to keep your routine short to prevent overexertion that might hurt your healing process in the long run. Start slow and build your way back up to your usual routine for running endurance.
If your usual workout routine feels too intense, try out something else. Do some short, low-impact workouts like yoga or swimming. Set short sessions and switch between a few light workouts. This will help you slowly get back into the groove and allow your body to readjust again.
Be Kind To Your Body
During your initial stages of recovery, you will be consuming a lot of carbohydrates so you may gain weight within the first few weeks. Later on, adjust your diet back to normal and monitor your calorie intake. You should be eating a balanced, nutritional diet of meats, fruits and vegetables.
In week 4, your body will start to get back to normal. Keep a steady pace in your training and transition into your usual workout routine. Try to start competing in marathons again after 6 weeks from your last race for ample healing and training your endurance to run.
There may be moments where you will feel discouraged but do not fret! Don’t be disappointed if you do not have an immediate bounce back because it is normal. Be patient with yourself during your recovery and your body will be functioning like normal in no time!
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